Name: Alicia Hatvany
Firm: Clyde & Co
Position: Trainee solicitor
University: Durham University (St Chad’s College)
Hobbies: Travelling, cooking and tennis
Current department: Corporate (Dubai International Secondment)
Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 5/2
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
Not studying law at university gave me a chance to explore other career paths. I took on various forms of work experience and internships throughout university and it was through doing this that I came across law as a potential career. Having enjoyed my initial work experience in law I continued to take on others. In comparison to other potential careers I had experienced, law seemed to allow almost daily exposure to clients, interesting and complex scenarios and constant learning and development. This was enough reassurance that training as a solicitor might suit me.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?
Applying in my third year of university, it was difficult to find the time to research the firms enough to write a good, bespoke application. On top of this, trying to distinguish between all the firms and find the ones that might suit me better than others was also a challenge.
What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?
I got asked whether people who are falsely accused of crimes because of their status and the accuser wanting a moment of fame should be reimbursed their legal fees. This was at the time when the Jimmy Savile scandal had occurred and other celebrities were being accused of abuse.
I answered this question very badly. It really threw me that I did not know the name of any of the celebrities mentioned and so I only got to grips with the question when Jimmy Savile’s name was mentioned.
Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…
My department handles a variety of work. We help companies from all over the globe with an assortment of matters, for example, helping clients enter the Middle East and North Africa region, M&A transactions, joint ventures and the accompanying commercial arrangements. This is within a variety of sectors, for example oil and gas, education, healthcare, retail and so on.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
I enjoy the training contract because it is two years of trial and error. You start it thinking one thing and almost everyone on the intake ends up enjoying an area of the law they never thought they would.
Another enjoyable aspect in relation to this is how dynamic the two years are. Not many jobs allow you to take on four completely different roles within two years.
What about your job did you not you expect before you started?
I did not expect it to be so difficult every time you start a new seat. The moment you become somewhat useful they put you in a totally different seat.
Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?
An invitation to a conference the firm is hosting in October.
Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?
Jabber (in-firm instant messaging service).
Describe your training partner in three words.
Engaging, interested and accessible.
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).
- I’m not very good with my left and right.
- I am a terrible driver.
- I am well-read.
If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
Possibly a doctor, although I was never good enough at the sciences.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?
My first piece of advice would be to gain as much work experience as you can in as many different fields as possible, not only law. Put down all work experience, such as bar or restaurant work alongside your university degree or GDL/LPC, this shows a real work ethic.
My second piece of advice would be to not merge into the crowd of law applications. If you have a quirk or an unusual hobby that makes you distinctive, do not be afraid to put this in your application.